The Many Meanings Of Christmas


To The Editor,

We often see photos of different species of animals that are snuggled together – a deer and a cat, a dog and duck – and are amazed that they can be “friends”.

There are times in our lives that if we look close enough, we have those friends already around us. Sometimes, those friendships sneak up on you. I am blessed when there are others in my life who are not identical to me. Those, who from a distance, would seem like an odd fit. It is those relationships that give me different ways to think and new perspectives.

Phil and his wife came in my office a few years ago to have some paperwork done. Little did I know that was the start of an incredible friendship.

Phil is probably old enough to be my father, and often times reminds me of him. They both are knowledgeable in many subjects and there is never a lull in conversation. The age difference, though, is never a barrier in our friendship. He is kind and generous and very creative. To thank us for the work we did for them, he brought in bags full of his home grown produce. I, in turn, thanked him, cooked up his fabulous vegetables, and called him to let him know lunch was prepared. I also gave him some of my vegetables that I had grown. He would then call me and let me know he was on his way with lunch for me, having prepared my vegetables. We have gone back and forth with raw fruits and vegetable to culinary delights we enjoy sharing between our families.

We would share stories of our kids, recipes, tried-and-true ways to get rid of pests in the garden.  We shared newspaper articles and handy ways to fix simple household items. We talked about how to recycle and we talked about travel.

One day, Phil brought me a flower that I was not familiar with. I told him how much I loved the color. Soon after, he brought me seeds from his plants so I could grow my own. I planted them in the spring. Who knew they would grow to 6 feet tall? They were the most vibrant color of vermillion I had ever seen, something that man cannot reproduce. Last week, I drew the flowers for him and framed it and now he has them hanging on his wall. I was going to save it for Christmas but we give little gifts to each other all of the time.

In the beginning, when I first met him, his wife came with him to visit me – but most days now, she doesn’t remember who I am until she sees me in person. I miss seeing her smiling face as often as I used to and I know Phil wishes she would come out and visit with him more often. Phil still visits a few times a week. We have, over the years, shared many gifts between each other. My garden now has seeds from his, and his from mine. I admired a nutcracker he brought in one day that he crafted with the most beautiful wood and on the spot, he gave it to me.

My father used to tell me that the greatest gifts are from the heart and while that is true, when I was younger I used to wonder – but who doesn’t love a good diamond? I have replayed those sentiments in my head through the years and although I hate to admit it, my father was right. My diamonds sit in my jewelry box until that “special time” when it is right to be dripping in jewels is upon me. . . one of these days.

The gifts between friends is the time spent, the thoughtfulness behind the cooked meals and the flower seeds – the handcrafted trinkets that I treasure. The biggest gift is how someone makes you feel when they are in your presence. Nothing is greater than family and friends. I would trade all of my diamonds in if it meant having to choose between the jewelry and my family and friends.

With the holiday season upon us, I am going to quote Dr. Seuss, as with Phil and his family in my life, Christmas is not just one day for me – but everyday. “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”.

Ceri Renee’ Galati, Paralegal

Mattioni, Ltd.


Letter to the Editor,

I am writing this letter to acknowledge the family, in Woolwich Township who lives off of Moravian Church Road, with the beautiful Christmas light display in their yard. If you have not already been by their house to see all the lovely lights and figures that they have on display, make it a point to do so you will not be disappointed.

The time and effort that it takes to do something like this for the pure enjoyment of the community is commendable for these wonderful people. The expense, time, and effort that it must take to get this display ready for the holiday season should not go unnoticed.

Therefore, I wanted to thank you very much for all of your time, efforts, and expense to allow this little community the “free” enjoyment of the season. I cannot tell you how excited our grandchildren get when we tell them that we’re going to go see the “house with all of the lights” it has become a Christmas tradition in our family.

THANK YOU again,

Adrienne Musumeci

Woolwich Township

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Swedesboro NJ
June 7, 2023, 5:02 am
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